Turkey's new Chief of Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug, center, is flanked ...

Turkey’s new Chief of Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug, center, is flanked by President Abdullah Gul, right, and Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, during the Victory Day reception in Ankara, Turkey, late Saturday, Aug. 30, 2008. The celebrations marking an 86-year-old victory over Greece which was considered crucial in Turkish Independence War which led to the foundation of modern Turkish republic.

(AP Photo)


Our generals used an updated terminology in which even Habermas was quoted but continued to maintain 1930s rhetoric.  What I feel is that those anti-postmodernist, pro-status quo Turkish scholars might now be providing service to our generals. Better than nothing (!)

Some journalists like Ruşen Çakır read between the lines and provide a more positive outlook. But of course Mr. Çakır has shown signs of anti-Ergenekon case during summer. So it is your choice. I still liked some of his commentaries in NTV and I believe at the least the Chief of Staff- though classified as an hawk- will prefer not to explicitly intervene in politics.

 As I noted before, I believe, as long as civil political authority is powerful, whatever rhetoric the military has, politics will be not be interfered…

Our generals’ selectivity of security threats

Today, telecommunications technology, globalization and increased education have transformed Turkey and provided it a level of transparency, leading many people to not be convinced by demagogic rhetoric.

Generals’ speeches

Although customary for Turkey, I am not sure whether there is such a thing in other countries. In this country, we live according to a military agenda through one week every year. Indeed, the victory week of the War of Independence, which takes place between Aug. 26 and 30, is full of images that are certain to lead outside observers to conclude that Turkey is not a democracy but that it is ruled by a military regime.

Why Turkish generals oppose globalization

Political debate and cleavages in Turkey today are between those who hold favorable views of globalization and thus work toward greater integration in the global system, and those who perceive globalization as the "number-one threat," who thus employ all possible means to stop pro-globalization groups.

New chief of staff firm on secularism, nation state

Gen. İlker Başbuğ gave a straightforward message on secularism and globalization late Thursday, in his first address as the head of Turkey’s armed forces. Başbuğ warned that some members of

New Army Commander: Globalization Is A Threat

By Jenny White

Gen. Ilker Basbug took over as chief of general staff from Gen. Yasar Büyükanit in a handover ceremony at the General Staff headquarters in Ankara. In his speech he warned about the threats Turkey faces due to its strategic geographical location. (click for article)

A taciturn commander

Though it de facto started with Wednesday’s handover ceremony, and on the official Web site of the Turkish military the CV of the new commander, Gen. İlker Başbuğ, has replaced that of Gen. Yaşar Büyükanıt, the new top commander of the country will officially assume his duties Monday. To expect a marked changes in the attitudes, approaches and policy positions of the military because of the change of the top commander amounts to no less than a naïve approach to the Turkish Armed Forces. However, from one commander to the other changes can be seen in the style of leadership, in the handling of difficult situations, relations with the media, contacts with the foreign missions … But,

Gen. Işık a closed box now opens

Mehmet Ali Birand

Reflections on generals’ handover ceremony speeches

The top commanders of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) appointed at this year’s meeting of the Supreme Military Council (YAŞ) assumed their new posts this week.

Turkey’s new military chief promotes secularism – International Herald Tribune

The Ergenekon-liberal cooperation

Genuine left cannot be considered with Ergenekon. It is wrong to identify the left with liberalism. On the contrary, left gives a fight against liberalism. But the “Ergenekonleft” discussions continue.

Is YARSAV Ergenekon’s extension in the judiciary? by MAZHAR BAĞLI

One of the most important parameters of judicial independence is the judiciary’s independence from itself. Yet, in the understanding of our judges, independence means being independent of the "nation" in whose name they make their decisions. 

Scandal at the Constitutional Court by MÜMTAZ’ER TÜRKÖNE

Ferda Paksüt is the wife of one of the 11 judges of the Constitutional Court. Osman Paksüt is one of the former diplomats who were appointed to the Constitutional Court as “top bureaucrats.”

Left, PKK and Ergenekon


The Ergenekon case affected all segments of society as it is not solely a criminal organization but also an entity that influenced politics.



The term "consensus" has become one of the magic words of recent days. Everybody emphasizes the importance of consensus but no one takes even a single step toward this either in politics or in social life.

TSK handover

Handover ceremonies within the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) are quite important events. Generals’ declarations are always carefully noted in Turkey, but speeches made during these ceremonies are taken even more seriously.

Ergenekon as the gardener of political left

The Ergenekon case is not the title of an illegal entity within the state alone. We are all witnessing that a network of evil is taking control of almost all parts of the country.

Who will conciliate with whom?


Well-intentioned suggestions made by those who view Turkey from the outside always converge on the same point: conciliation.

Limitations of the MHP


One may criticize the style of politics pursued by Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli,
but one must acknowledge that his political tactics have been successful.

Gül’s first year in office

Abdullah Gül, the 11th president of Turkey, was elected to office on this exact day last year. He has spent one year in the presidential palace.

Bahçeli’s proposals under the magnifying glass

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli earlier this week brought forward a set of proposals for Parliament to take up in the upcoming legislative year.

Need for constitutional renewal


A genuine constitutional revamp entails treating many issues at the constitutional level.

DTP’s responsibility


The Democratic Society Party (DTP) has for quiet some time been trying to get rid of the outlawed Kurdish Workers’ Party’s (PKK) domination over it and the use of weapons.

Şahin’s exasperation with 301 files


As you may have noticed, there is no longer much talk about Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK).

Let’s get off, the TSK is back

Mehmet Ali Birand



Arnaldo Otegi, who was once the leader of the Batasuna party, the political wing of the Basque separatist terrorist organization ETA, was released from jail yesterday.

Environment debate


When Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, speaking in the Black Sea province of Rize, criticized the environmentalists who oppose nuclear power plants, saying:

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